Similar to a few other Talians here, I’ve recently married a person who loves the King of kings. My wife and I became “wife and I” in October. Prior to that, we (like others) ran around for weeks getting various errands finished before our wedding day. One errand in particular brought an interesting thought to mind.
First, let’s talk about the season we’re in: Christmas. We’re celebrating the Son of God who came to Earth by way of a virgin birth. He was born a baby and grew up to accomplish the Father’s work, which encompassed and accomplished much in His life, ministry, death, and resurrection.
I’d like to touch on just one accomplishment for the time being: Christ’s calling of His church. One reason Jesus became a man was to begin and establish His church, His future bride. His coming, accomplishing power over sin, and ascending to the Father sealed forever a redemption and reconciliation of sinners to God. These sinners would be His church, His future bride. Christ’s coming was, in part, a beginning of His own wedding preparations.
Revelation 19:7 "Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready."
My own wedding had a lot of preparations, and the one that struck a note with me in particular was when we went to get our marriage certificate. It was a simple process, but what stood out was the cost: $90. We had no problem paying for the simple piece of paper, but it seemed a notable expense, especially for those with great financial difficulty. Ever wonder what Della and Jim would have done?
It made me think of God’s merciful call to those who thirst... who hunger... who are poor.
Isaiah 55:1 "Ho! Every one who thirsts, come to the waters; And you who have no money come, buy and eat. Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost.”
Christ’s bride is poor. Penniless. And yet He chose us... those who have no money, no standing, no worth... no righteousness. We can’t afford a wedding. We certainly can’t afford Christ as our bridegroom. But that’s ok, but He’s paying. Notice the important key in Isaiah:
“... you who have no money come, buy and eat... without money and without cost.”
How can we, with no money, still buy? How can we make a purchase when we have nothing? Because Christ purchased. He came to Earth, born as a man to redeem men. Living perfectly to fulfill the needed righteous life that we needed to live. He purchased with His blood, that we might be His bride, without any cost to us... without any price further needed. His righteousness is what seals us as His bride.
From our standpoint, broken and poor, we could never hope to afford a marriage, let alone a wedding feast. We simply can’t afford it. Our righteousness is as filthy rags before the most holy God. But joy breaks in on our position, just as our Lord said in Matthew 5:3, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
We were poor in spirit, with no merit before God. But He, in His infinite mercy and grace, sent forth His excellent, worthy Son to be born of a woman, that He would redeem sinners whom He chose... and then marry them, clothing them with His righteousness.
We are the wedded poor. Brought in from the streets and filth, cleaned up by His work and love, to be expert worshipers of Him. I hope this Christmas will be filled with worship, seeing the Lamb, our bridegroom, and not just a baby pictured in a manger, as we prepare ourselves for the feast and joys to come!
Our bridegroom is at the door. Where are we?